Minor Characters In John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men

906 Words4 Pages
Of Mice And Men Literary Essay

Of Mice and Men, written by John Steinbeck, records the struggles and lives of migrant workers during the Great Depression. Although the two main characters—George and Lennie made up a huge part of the novella, the significance and role of minor characters add colours to the book, which makes it more interesting and rich in content. Steinbeck mainly uses minor characters to emphasize the major themes of the book and creates foreshadowing. Firstly, the character of Crooks illustrates the themes of dreams, barriers and the struggles of the powerless. Crooks was ‘bent over to the left by his crooked spine’, and at the same time, he is the only black American on the ranch. These reasons make him a victim of
…show more content…
sexism in the novel. In the novel, Curley’s wife represents the role of women during the Great Depression. The name of Curley’s wife is never mentioned in the novella. This shows the idea of women being objects of men throughout the story. Men believed women were just their items. At the end of the novells, Curley ‘worked himself into a fury’ due to the death of his wife. However, Curley felt upset about her death just because he saw his wife as a ‘trophy wife’ and her death was a loss to his social status. Besides, the theme of sexism is thoroughly discussed through Curley’s wife. She is discriminated on the ranch as she is the only female on the ranch. Being secluded and confined at home, she tries to seek attention from other ranchhands by flirting. She ‘put her hands behind her back and leaned against the door frame so that her body was thrown forward’ when Lennie and George first met her. Curley also forces his wife to stay at home in order not to let other men take his ‘property’. Curley’s wife ‘can’t talk to nobody but curley. Else he gets mad.’ Being lonely all the time, she wants to have someone to talk to instead of just taking care of the house. Moreover, this characters foreshadows the ending of the story. In the beginning, George and Lennie left Weed as Lennie scared a woman by touching her dress. The way Curley’s wife treats George and Lennie leads to the ending of the story. Lennie tries…show more content…
Slim is first described as the leader of the ranchhands. He first saw George and Lennie in the bunk house ‘with a majesty achieved only by royalty and master craftsmen.’ Slim is an expert of being a jerk-line skinner. He is the one who intercedes in all disputes among the ranchhands. He is also the final authority among the ranchhands, even Curley listens to him. When Lennie smashes Curley’s hand, Slim tells Curley not to reveal hoe he busted his hand. Moreover, Slim accepts people for who they are. He didn’t take advantage or make fun of Lennie just because of his mental disabilities. At the very end of the novella, he is the only man who understood what George had been tthrough after killing Lennie. He suggests that George did the right thing, instead of letting others ‘lock him up an’ strap him down and put him in a cage.’ He also helped comfort George by accompanying him to get a drink after the incident. These events emphasize the themes of trust and friendship. Other ranchhands are afraid of building relationships as there is no trust among them. Despite initial trust issues, George and Slim built a good relationship at last. Therefore, Slim plays the righteous person throughout the story and illustrates the main themes of the
Open Document